Peixinhos da Horta | David Leite | adapted from Pap’Açôrda | Makes 6 to 8 servings
The literal translation of the title of this dish is “little fish from the garden.” The name comes from the fact that once the beans are cooked, they resemble a tangle of slender fried fish that are popular in Portugal. Serve them as a side dish, a starter, or even a snack.—David Leite
1 pound green beans, trimmed
About 4 cups peanut oil, for frying
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup water
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1. Heat the oven to the lowest setting possible. On some ovens this is the “warm” setting while on others it’s usually a temperature of 135°F (57°C). Slide in a baking sheet with a wire rack on top.
2. Cook the beans in a large pot of boiling salted water until crisp-tender, about 2 minutes. Drain, cool in a bowl of ice water, and drain again.
3. Heat the oil in a deep fryer or a large saucepan over medium-high heat to 350°F (175°C). Combine the flour, water, eggs, baking powder, salt and pepper in a large bowl; whisk until a smooth batter forms.
4. Dip about a dozen beans at a time into the batter, shaking off any excess. Add the beans to the hot oil and fry until golden brown, about 4 minutes per batch. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the beans to paper towels to drain. Sprinkle with more salt and then carefully scatter the beans on the rack in the oven to keep warm. Repeat the dipping and frying with the remainder of the beans. Serve whatever beens that haven’t been snatched up by spouses, kids, in-laws, neighbors with good noses. You get the picture.